Team #10 // Im-POOP-ment for the Better

Executive Summery

The proposed Piga Pick-Up (Swahili for Poop) mobile application is a unique solution to a problem that has been plaguing the city of Kisumu, Kenya for years. In this community, truck drivers tasked with delivering fecal sludge take advantage of an unmonitored system to discard this human waste into the nearby environment in the effort to pay a lowered fee of delivery to the wastewater treatment plant. This has caused a sanitation crisis, especially in the informal communities where infrastructure is not very prevalent. The Piga Pick-Up solution helps create an environment of accountability for all parties involved in this transaction. Moreover, the potential benefits of this service in the fields of job creation, environment and health can all be positively impacted for the good of the nearby communities.

Problem

As of date, the current sanitation system in Kisumu, Kenya is something that is not revered. Especially in the informal settlements, there is a distinct lack of infrastructure in this department. Currently, there are companies that, theoretically, take the feces from onsite sanitation facilities to the wastewater treatment plant. That being said, research has concluded that 51% of this human waste is discarded into the local environment by these truck drivers as a means to avoid paying a fee per unit volume to deliver it to the local wastewater treatment plant [1]. Our solution addresses the root cause of discarded faecal matter and will create a system where is this prevented.

Target user / Customer

Our model targets three parties who, when working together, create a meaningful impact through our system: the average individual, the fecal sludge truck drivers, and the wastewater treatment plant. Through the method of engaging each of these stakeholders, our Piga Pick-Up mobile application will function as a means to create transparency, and more importantly accountability, in order to ensure all human waste per unit volume is delivered to the treatment plant.

Your solution and how the concept is feasible

Our solution is to create a system of accountability for all parties involved in order to directly impact the current systemic issue of dumping feces into the nearby environment.

  1. Customer uses Piga Pick-Up mobile application to call fecal sludge truck drivers.
  2. Truck driver receives confirmation of arrival as well as customer payment, geographical location, time, and volume of pick up per unit volume through both the application as well as physical confirmation with the measurement laser system.
  3. The truck driver will then travel to the wastewater treatment plant where an employee will ensure confirmation of the order in its entirety.

This concept is feasible for the reason that the citizens of Kenya already have access, and more importantly the infrastructure, of mobile pay applications, such as M-Pesa. With 82% of Kenyans having access to these systems in 2018 – with more predicted users every day – implementing a system through a digitized service is very feasible in this economy [2]. Moreover, our service is more of an addition to the current system, however, leaves no room to take advantage of the system through the terms of use. Implementing this system will cost very few Kenyan Shillings to create, as well as maintain.


Four unique value propositions

  1. Developed with the idea to piggy-back on the current, and widely used, infrastructure of mobile pay options to digitize the sanitation industry;
  2. Targets a niche market where impacts can be directly, and easily, felt across various areas of the community including the economy and the environment;
  3. A service that immediately targets the problem area by creating a system of transparency and accountability among sanitation workers and creating a self-sustaining, reliable system; and
  4. Is created with the idea to be a long-term solution with benefits felt throughout its duration of use.


Financials

In our assumptions, we have created a mobile application service that will monitor the locations and pick up volume of the fecal truck. The initial investment of the application programming will be predicted to be of low cost (especially if this service is outsourced). Additionally, the measurement lasers – a quantity between 6 to 10 are necessary for the amount of trucks on the road – are predicted to cost between 3.000 to 10.500 Kenyan Shillings (between 200 to 700 DKK). This initial investment could be funded through various third parties would have a financial incentive to see this plant succeed including the Kenyan government, the wastewater treatment plant, or motivated Non-Governmental Organizations.


Impact

We believe that our solution has both direct and indirect impacts that will ultimately benefit the city, especially the informal settlements, of Kisumu for the better. Firstly, we believe that the health of the community – Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 – will be drastically improved for the reason that implementing a sanitation system in a community without one will take human waste off the streets and away from the homes. Moreover, it will help build a sustainable infrastructure for the informal communities through the development of this service – related to SDGs 9 and 11. Another area that we are working to mitigate is the environmental impact – SDG 15 – in order to cater to an improved life on land in terms of limiting the exposure of the environment to this festering bacteria. Finally, the last of the predicted direct impacts are related to the current economic infrastructure of these informal communities. Ensuring that all of the collected human waste gets transferred from point A to point B – unlike the current, unmonitored system – there will be a bigger market for human waste at the wastewater treatment plant. This allows more monetary inflow with the possibility of future expansion of the plant, allowing for the creation of jobs. This caters to SDG 8 of job creation and economic growth. Our team wholeheartedly believes that the butterfly effect of implementing this system – catering to SDG 6 – as a commonly used service in the Kisumu area will directly benefit all those who live there, as well as improving the quality of life of those who live in the informal settlements as the development of this service will have the ultimate goal to target this community further.


Link for more information

[1] resources/documents/default

[2] Mobile-lifts-Kenya-account-holders-82-pc


Team

All of our team members bring unique perspectives to the table in terms of their contributions or prior knowledge as we are individuals of interdisciplinary backgrounds and experience. Ranging from food science to mechanical engineering, all of our team members share the common interest to see a better world and to use our skills for the benefit of the less fortunate.


Group Members

Khadra El Boumassaoudi (Food Safety and Quality): [email protected]
Münire Kartal (Food Safety and Quality): [email protected]
Natik Aggarwal (Electrical Engineering): [email protected]
Helena Yarritu Sánchez (Civil Engineering): [email protected]
Evangeline Saclamacis (Mechanical Engineering): [email protected]

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